I am not a popsicle person. I will occasionally flash back to my childhood and buy a box of Jello Pudding Pops, but most of the time I eat the vanilla ones and then throw the rest away. But yesterday Joe and I went to Nashville, because he had heard of this place called Los Paletas, apparently renowned for the best popsicles in the world. I wasn’t as excited as Joe was, but I agreed to try it out. Los Paletas is located on the ground floor of a mauve-colored building on 12th Avenue, and there’s no sign, so naturally we couldn’t find it. I was thinking they must have gone out of business, but this place really seemed to matter to my hsuband, so I popped into a neighborhood drum shop to ask for directions. The guy couldn’t figure out what I was talking about, which pretty much shot any faith I had in the fabulousness of these legendary popsicles, but when I said, “They sell popsicles?” his face lit up and he instantly pointed me down the block. The shop is completely nondescript. It’s just a counter with a freezer case in front of a chalkboard listing all the day’s flavors. They have the most creative assortment of popsicles imaginable–from the traditional strawberry and chocolate flavors all the way to cucumber and hibiscus. They must change flavors all the time, because they were missing a basil flavor I’d heard about, which had sounded disgusting, but I was assured it was delicious. I was a little apprehensive at the idea of weird popsicles, but again, Joe was thrilled with the possibilites, so I behaved myself.
Joe had a chocolate and banana pop, and I had a mango. To my surprise, the popsicles WERE amazing. I’m not the sort of person to wax poetic (or write a blog) about popsicles, but this was like nothing I’d ever tasted. My mango pop was sweet and just slightly spicy. It tasted like the real thing, not like a frozen juice box. Joe’s had small chunks of banana, and the flavors were artfully mixed in each bite. At $2.50 each, these popsicles aren’t cheap, but they are definitely worth it. I wanted to buy a dozen and take them home with me, even though they would have melted in the car. Now I can’t wait to go back and try other flavors. If you’re in the Nashville area, go by and try Los Paletas. And bring an extra back for me.